Monday, April 7, 2014

"dark pools" skew market values

(Reuters) - Fears that high-speed traders have been rigging the U.S. stock market went mainstream last week thanks to allegations in a book by financial author Michael Lewis, but there may be a more serious threat to investors: the increasing amount of trading that happens outside of exchanges.
Some former regulators and academics say so much trading is now happening away from exchanges that publicly quoted prices for stocks on exchanges may no longer properly reflect where the market is. And this problem could cost investors far more money than any shenanigans related to high frequency trading.
When the average investor, or even a big portfolio manager, tries to buy or sell shares now, the trade is often matched up with another order by a dealer in a so-called "dark pool," or another alternative to exchanges.
Like Bitcoin, I cannot claim to understand exactly how "dark pools" work, but it feels as if some former credulity had been rewritten in ways that will come down to "shit flows down hill" and the majority of financial believers are likely to get short-changed.

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